Angela R. Watts is the bestselling and award-nominated author of The Infidel Books and the Remnant Trilogy. She’s been writing stories since she was little, and has over nineteen works in print. She also writes articles for a few magazines and publishers. When she’s not writing, Angela is a freelance editor, blogger, and artist. She hopes to be a manga-ka one day, but for now, she has a brown belt in Wado Ryu, and shares her love of manga and anime through her manga account on Instagram (@wattsangiereading). She lives in Tennessee with her family and many pets. Angela loves connecting with readers, and you can follow her on social media to stay up-to-date with releases (Angela has multiple releases for 2022-2023!) or contact her through her website: angelarwatts.com
What anime/manga/light novel inspired your short story?
This short story was lightly inspired by 91 Days, Banana Fish, and Bungo Stray Dogs. Basically, I've been low-key obsessed over gangs and such since childhood, and it shows.
What was your process like for writing this story? Did you have a specific idea for the ending or a theme you wanted to write around?
I sat down with absolutely no plot or outline in mind. Pure chaos. I wanted to see what the characters did. I wrote it in a few hours or so and was surprised I actually liked the outcome. I think it hints at a few of my favorite themes, such as courage, loyalty, and more.
What was your favorite part about writing this story? Was there anything challenging about it?
I wanted to challenge myself to write something very serious and dark, yet also with a more comedic, light-hearted main character voice, so that readers can enjoy some action, heart, and humor, all in one. Readers will have to let me know if I succeeded.
Do you have a favorite sentence or quote or paragraph from the story?
"I would rather fight alongside a stranger than die at the hands of wicked men." is a quote I'm fond of. Every other favorite part is a bit of a spoiler, ha!
Can you tell us about one character in the story? Any insights into who they are as a character that we didn’t get to see in the story?
The main character, Darby, is a newcomer in the Amante gang, and while she's totally out of place in the mafia, she wants to help her family. Darby is, surprisingly, a very caring person, and doesn't actually want to hurt anyone, but sometimes, we have to do hard things for the ones we love. I hope readers saw her heart, because while she has to hide it from those around her, she can't hide it from herself, and we get to see that.
Can you briefly share about your other works? Where can people find you if they want to read more?
I'm a bestselling, award-nominated author of over 16 works currently. I write science fiction, fantasy, contemporary, and more. No matter what genre I tackle, my goal is to write what scares me, and have fun. Readers can check me out on Amazon or my website
Your story has a lot of potential to become a full-length novel. If you had the time, would you consider extending it?
Well, first, authors must make time for every project, haha. While I do have a rough outline for a novel based off this short story, I haven't started it yet: I wait for God's "go ahead" for each book, and I don't think He's having me do that one just yet. But stay tuned. Who knows what might happen to Darby and Zion in the future...
Were you inspired by any real life mafia family rivalries, or any historical periods in general? If so, which one(s)?
All of them. Ha. But really... All of them! I will note that two of the anime that inspired this one are, in fact, historical, but this story is actually in a more dystopian setting. I did a similar thing with The Infidel Books, so while the year may be futuristic, human nature often resorts to old habits. And ruthless gangs and reckless groups are ancient things, so it's very interesting to write about that dynamic in different settings and periods. But that's my little tangent for this interview!
Darby and Zion have a lot of great chemistry together, a strong element of your story. Where do you personally see their relationship going?
Thank you! I'd love to answer this question but... spoilers! This element, and question, is actually a key part of the potential novel, so I can't say very much, but... I'm pretty excited for what they have in store!